Obama’s 2016 world tour


The president is planning to travel the globe to seal his foreign policy legacy.

President Barack Obama will be making good use of Air Force One while he still can.

Obama has asked aides to set a busy international travel schedule for him in his final year, with “half a dozen” trips already in the works and more potentially coming together. The travel will be aimed at cementing a foreign policy legacy he hopes will include the Trans-Pacific Partnership, increased attention to Asia, an opening of Latin America, progress against the Islamic State and significant global movement on climate change.

He’ll be fighting the same battle to keep the world from looking past him as he will be at home. But White House aides insist that what they’ve got ahead in 2016 is more than just a standard eighth-year world tour to try to assert themselves and stay clear of the presidential campaign.

The only continents the White House is ruling out as presidential destinations are Australia and Antarctica. And while another multi-stop trip to Africa is also off the table (after a visit to Kenya and Ethiopia in 2015), aides familiar with the matter say, a single stop there tacked onto another trip, perhaps one to Europe, is still possible.

They’re also looking at a stop in the Middle East, though that would also likely be tacked onto a larger trip elsewhere rather than a full swing through the region, which has gotten only more complicated for Obama throughout his presidency.

How little time Obama has left is part of nearly every conversation.

“You’ll see the president spending a lot of time driving to the finish line, obviously with the counter-ISIL campaign, but also with respect to affirmative elements of his presidency,” deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said in an interview.

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